During the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus talked about the types of people that will be blessed by God. It’s comforting to see exactly how much God loves us and how he will bless us in the midst of the troubles of this world.
Often when I read the Bible I will look at the section of Scripture I’m reading in a few different translations. At the end of this post I will put the one from The Message (paraphrase). I encourage you to check it out in other translation(s), too, such as the NIV or NLT.
Here’s what I think I need to do based on Jesus’ words:
Don’t be afraid to give up control and let God be in charge. It’s at the moment you realize that you can’t control it anyway that God can finally take over … and he’s already got it figured out.
Don’t be afraid to cry out to God in the midst of your pain. To ask “why?” even if the answer doesn’t come on this side of heaven. It’s during those moments of sadness and fear that your Heavenly Father longs to embrace and comfort you.
Don’t be afraid to be yourself – the way God made you. Don’t listen if people call your humility weakness. Don’t listen if people claim your kindness is misguided. Just remember your eternity is sealed and your kindness will be rewarded.
Don’t be afraid to seek righteousness and to daily fill yourself with God’s word and with Godly things. People everywhere hunger for these things but have not yet discovered what you know – this hunger can only be filled by God.
Don’t be afraid to help those in need … To forgive someone that’s wronged you … To be kind and merciful to people that “don’t deserve it”. It’s at the moment you do these things that you can begin to comprehend the kindness and mercy God shows you every day.
Don’t be afraid to live out God’s word. To get what you do in line with what you know. The more you’re living out your faith, the more you’ll see God in everyday life.
Don’t be afraid to refuse to take sides in petty arguments. To be the one that stands up and encourages peace. That’s the way God’s family operates, and the moment you accepted Jesus as your savior you became a child of God.
Don’t be afraid to share the gospel. To boldly tell people of their need for Jesus. To make clear the urgency of the choice between eternity in heaven and eternity in hell. People won’t always like this, because the truth hurts. The truth forces a decision. Accept Christ or deny God! Rejoice in the fact that the push back you may get, the persecution you may face, ensures an eternal reward for you in heaven.
The Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-12 MSG)
“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
“You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
“You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.
“You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.
“You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.
“You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
“You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.
“You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.
“Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.